Process Mining 101 – Use Cases
Have you heard of Process Mining before but are not sure how it works or if it has any value to you? Or are you completely new to the area of Process Mining and just arrived here by pure chance? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this five-part series we’ll give you a comprehensive guide to Process Mining. We’ll start with the basics and go into more details regarding application, use cases and possibilities along the way. The series ends with common misconceptions about Process Mining that cause confusion and hold people back from getting started.
Part 3: Use Cases
Process Mining Use Cases
In the second part of our series, we talked about the goals and steps of Process Mining. In this part, we’ll give you concrete examples of use cases.
These are just some of the many ways people have used Process Mining. We always love to learn of cases where someone has achieved great results in new or unusual areas.
The application possibilities of Process Mining are far more diverse than often assumed. From the initial process analysis to transformation projects and automation measures, Process Mining offers a multitude of application areas.
Turn your business data and processes into competitive advantages and discover the potential of Process Mining for your company in our use cases, whether you are interested in business processes, documents or customer behavior.
The age of digitization keeps transforming the way we work. Every organization, every business, no matter the size or market area is already operating digitally on some level.
But every organization is different so a digital workplace can mean vastly different things and keeps changing with new technologies entering the market at an ever-increasing pace. Any place with a decent internet connection can be an office now, so setting up a digital workplace that is not limited by physical boundaries comes with its own set of challenges.
Use existing company data to plan and execute a digital workplace strategy and empower your employees to collaborate on improvement measures.
Through the extension of the BI application Microsoft Power BI with PAFnow, you can easily complement your existing analytics and BI infrastructure with state-of-the-art Process Mining functions. PAFnow automatically learns how business processes work. You can easily pass on the insights gained to the responsible end user so that they can independently carry out process optimization.
Power BI is a key component of Microsoft Office 365, and users can leverage Microsoft applications such as SharePoint / Teams for collaboration, Visio for process design, Quick Insights for AI, UI Flows for workflow automation, PowerApps for production-ready business solutions, and many more. In this way, even entire company transformations can be carried out faster and easier.
- Empowering users for a Process Analysis Self-Service and company-wide cooperation
- Generating huge business value and recovering countless hours of worker productivity, avoiding re-work, waste and inefficiencies in business processes
- Converting insights to actions through data alerts, built in record time with exceptional customer RoI
A central business objective of companies is to increase their net working capital. This often involves the following three key business processes: Purchase-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash, and Plan-to-Deliver. Each of these cross-functional processes has certain weak points:
- P2P: Manual approval workflows, maverick buying, short credit periods
- O2C: Differing payment methods and conditions, problems with delivery reliability / delivery security, no timely invoicing.
- P2D: Low degree of standardization, long production lead times, long supply times for raw materials
With the help of Process Mining, you can easily visualize cross-functional working capital processes based on event data. You can then use the visual as an objective basis for identifying process optimization measures. After using Process Mining for the first time, you can repeat this process as often as you like with just the touch of a button.
- P2P: Extend credit terms, improve procurement, improve payables process
- O2C: Stricter credit approval, invoice earlier, collect faster, incentivize for early payment
- P2D: Better Forecasting, eliminate stagnant inventory, improve delivery reliability
There are various models that try to represent the customer journey. These models try to represent the often very individual and unstructured customer trip in a customer journey map.
Ideally, a Customer Journey Map visually represents the process a customer or potential customer goes through to reach a specific goal with your business.
With the help of the Customer Journey Map you can get a better idea of the motives, needs and weaknesses of your customers. So it is all the more important that this map builds on actual data and not an ideal but unrealistic model.
Customer Journey Discovery with Process Mining creates a bridge between customer behavior and your business results. With PAFnow you can find out what contributes to a better customer experience:
- Understand the actual journey your customer takes over certain points of contact
- Identify customer-specific behavior patterns
- Find the routes your customer is taking to reach specific goals and quantify the resulting impact on your KPIs
- Telco: Visualize end-to-end processes. Find out re-work, delays and cost driver
- Insurance: Discover how client SLAs can be met
- Manufacturing: Analyze root-causes for delayed goods issue (delivery reliability)
In many companies, IT is increasingly becoming a driver of innovation. It defines how innovation potential can be realized in the context of big data and automation and how the business can be brought forward. ERP applications provide a good answer to those challenges. So migration discussions have turned from ‘if’ or ‘why’ you should use cloud-based ERP systems to ‘how’ to best execute a migration strategy.
Process Mining can support your IT in all three major phases of SAP migration and transformation projects:
- Before: Learn how businesspeople are actually working today. Simulate your as-is systems and compare them with the best practices of the new application to check for gaps. Identify areas that are most likely to be affected by the upcoming changes. That’s exactly what the Conformance Check (one of our PAFnow Custom Visuals) was designed for.
- During: Use PAFnow to ensure that goods are delivered, and invoices are shipped and paid on time
- After: Use PAFnow to reduce the effort required to create test cases for business users
- Find out how your “as-is” operational ERP/CRM system is really used
- Use opportunity to improve business process while migrating for increased ROI
- Make sure that the new system is up and running properly
‘Industry 4.0’ and the ‘Internet of Things’ are being driven by new digital business models based on the use of digital data over the entire product life cycle.
Manufacturers need a holistic approach to utilize what ‘Industry 4.0’ and the ‘Internet of Things’ have to offer.
Process Mining can make a major contribution to your company when you’re working with IoT data. The example of the Heidelberg Digital Unit shows exactly how Process Mining can make an impact in Industry 4.0 and the associated IoT:
In February 2019, the IT department of Heidelberger Druck (HDU) successfully participated in the Hackdays Rhein-Neckar on Big Data & Process Mining. The participants were given tasks in teams, which they were to develop together with innovative solutions with a focus on customer productivity. The concrete challenge for around 30 young highly qualified and technically talented employees was tricky:
The HDU Cloud is connected to more than 11,000 computers worldwide and provides several terabytes of data each month. These data can tell the HDU much about the performance of machines around the world, provided they are evaluated in a useful manner.
With Process Mining and machine learning techniques, the ‘Hackers’ were able to delve deep into the data and show how to best design lean processes with a sound understanding of the business.
The main award of the Hackdays Rhein-Neckar 2019 finally went to the HDU for their successful concept to further increase the productivity of the customers by process optimization.
The example of HDU shows what users can achieve with Process Mining in terms of IoT and Industry 4.0. In broader terms, you use Process Mining to visually analyze sensor data from production units for…
- predictive monitoring
- performance measurement
- process diagnostics and improvement
- icreased customer satisfaction…
Traditional audit tools and approaches come with a set of disadvantages:
- There is a lack of complete population testing of process data.
- Traditional audit tools, such as Caseware or acl, do not focus on processes but on analyzing samples of statistical data.
- A lack of visualization of processes can lead to unusual behavior being overlooked
So in a worst case scenario, auditing is incomplete and leads to false conclusions and numbers.
Process Mining shows you real answers to your problems.
You find out the truth about your processes and uncover all your seemingly invisible problems. By using Process Mining in the internal audit you can:
- Eliminate weeks of time and labor-intensive exploration in traditional process analysis.
- Reduce the effort of the entire audit by more than 25%.
- Increase hit rates when working in the audit area.
- Process Mining is objective, it works with all available data not just samples and statistics
- You see your process how it actually happens, including all exceptions and deviations
- No interruption of daily business through workshops and interviews
Robotic Process Automation is increasingly proving to be a key technology for optimizing efficient, error-free and transparent business processes.
However, the cost of identifying, analyzing and documenting processes typically accounts for well over half of the total effort of automation projects. In addition, the overview of the actual variants of a process is often missing.
For these reasons, the use of Robotic Process Automation currently has economical and procedural limitations.
PAFnow Process Mining can help you to identify and analyze the limitations of your process chain. It can help you to:
- Find the limits of your process flow.
- Analyze the underlying data to find room for improvement in automating your business processes.
- Investigate the causes of repetitive process steps.
- Continuously monitor the success of your process optimization projects.
- Reduce RPA costs by lowering the costs of identifying, analyzing and documenting processes
- Include all possible variants in your process to get the best out of RPA measures
- Find the parts of your process that can benefit from RPA and keep track of the automation progress of your process
Traditional process detection and modeling is expensive and time consuming. This is due to gaps in business knowledge, the lack of objective validation techniques and poor formalisms.
Standard formal operating procedures, internal policies and work instructions or best practices incorporated into enterprise applications are often hampered by inaccurate behavior. Therefore, process management and modeling so far have limited sustainable enterprise value.
Process Mining makes a real difference in Business Process Management:
- Automatically create your process models in a fraction of the time previously required
- Update your process models as often as you want
- Use your as-is Process Mining models to compare them to best practices and target models
- Improve transparency and understanding of the true performance of your business by investing in Process Mining
- Raise awareness and inspire your business and company colleagues with the benefits, capabilities and use of Process Mining by introducing small, temporary pilot projects to gain valuable initial insights
- Instead of focusing on “should-be” processes, Process Management is centered on visualizing and improving operational business reality
- Process Mining adds KPIs to process models
- Conformance Check helps to compare best practices with should be models and your as-is process
Every Process Mining application requires a strong analytical BI core. BI technologies can work with large amounts of structured and sometimes unstructured data to find and develop new strategic business opportunities. They enable easy interpretation of big data.
With Business Intelligence, companies can support a variety of business decisions, ranging from operational to strategic.
Identifying new opportunities and implementing an effective strategy based on insights can give companies a competitive advantage and long-term stability. In this way, Process Mining and BI go hand in hand to analyze and improve business processes and to develop optimization strategies.
It is only logical to extend Power BI with state-of-the-art Process Mining. Gartner has recognized Microsoft as a leader in analytics and business intelligence for 13 consecutive years . Meaning, Microsoft’s Power BI is leading in the BI sector.
Extending this amazing Power BI portfolio with Pafnow adds cutting-edge Process Mining technologies to your Office 365 structure. The focus is on the user-experience and democratization of Process Mining which means:
- It’s free: There is a free PAFnow Custom Visual available in AppSource. Simply add it to your Power BI visuals and immediately start your Process Mining experience.
- It’s simple and ready-to-use: If you want to get started with an out-of-the-box Process Mining application, contact us. Our PAFnow Premium version contains 10 pre-configured dashboards, including 10 PAFnow Custom Visuals.
- It’s incredibly comfortable: you do not have to get used to a new tool. Implement Process Mining in your existing Power BI infrastructure.
- Use Process Mining in your existing Power BI and Office 365 infrastructure
- Make use of more than 200 connectors to other applications
- Collaborate on process improvement with different departments across your company
As you can see, there are many Process Mining use cases, and we are always excited to discover new ones. The possibilities of Process Mining are far from exhausted and future developments on the market will uncover even more areas of application in combination with other technologies.
Speaking of other technologies, in part four of our series we’ll talk more about Process Mining in Power BI. So you can look forward to discover why we chose to combine Process Mining and Power BI and how you can profit from that combination.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about Process Mining, try out our demo version, contact us, get the free visual, or check our website. We are happy to help you, answer your questions and tell you more about our mission.